Whoopi Goldberg is Funnier Than I am

Whoopi Goldberg is Funnier Than I am

by Farnell Morisset

This year’s Festival Grand Rire de Québec ended last night at the Agora du Port de Québec with a show by none other than Whoopi Goldberg.  She was very funny.  That is a terribly boring understatement, but being completely incapable of matching Whoopi’s wit with words, that’s the best I can do.  The rest of this article will likely be equally bland in comparison.

Whoopi Goldberg live on stage at the Agora, Quebec City. Photo courtesy of Caroline Fournier.

For those of you who have never been to the Agora – you’re missing out.  The Scene Loto-Québec (as it is commercially known) is set up within a semi-circular outdoor amphitheatre along the Vieux Port, with the Chateau Frontenac in the backdrop of the stage.  On a clear warm evening – as it was yesterday – you can feel the breeze of the Saint-Laurent waft over the old docks as the sun sets behind the buildings of the historical Basse-Ville district.  They also have exceptionally comfortable chairs, and that’s a big deal when laughter has you rolling all over your seats.

Opening the evening was QU4RTZ, a group of singers hailing from Trois-Rivières who would have all the makings of a boy band, except for the fact that they can actually sing and do it well enough to perform all their pieces a cappella.  Their music ranges from covers of Coldplay and Les Colocs to a bilingual barbershop mash-up of the Where in the World is Carmen San Diego theme song.  The crowd very much appreciated their music and humour… but they weren’t as funny as Whoopi.

The opening act must’ve given time for Whoopi to search her bus far and wide for her missing pants.  She finally couldn’t find them, but in true stand-up comedian fashion she just rolled with it and came out banging a cooking pot (in support of the ongoing protests) informing us we should be glad she didn’t get on her bus in short shorts that morning.  The stage was then set for an hour of stories, anecdotes, and observations on subjects ranging from Whoopi’s menopause, her adaptation to modern communications technology, her (surprisingly accurate) understanding of the urinal behaviour of men, and teaching her grandson to swear.  As they left in the first few minutes, she also waved goodbye to those few people who’d made the mistake of assuming Whoopi on stage was as family-friendly as Whoopi on screen.

Judging by the reactions of the audience, which I’d estimate filled in to around 3500 people mostly in their mid-30s to mid-50s, she hit her mark with every punch line.  That being said, as a 24-year-old with no idea what makes an 8-track inherently funny, I still found myself gasping for air between two fits of laughter quite a few times.

Showing her generous side, Whoopi went far past her announced 15 minutes after the show to answer the questions of her fans, having them translated when necessary and even wishing us all a happy Canada Day when she realised those annoying background popping sounds were fireworks.  Among other things, she revealed her favourite movie had been The Lion King because it could be seen by young children and adults alike, that despite appearances she loved her co-hosts on The View, that she just wishes everyone would slow down and take a minute before sending that angry email, and that she figures calling someone “stupid” is a far worse word than most other “adult language”, if only because, as she demonstrated several times herself, it’s still possible to smile while saying “fuck”.


About the author:

Born and raised in Québec City, Farnell Morisset attended English school throughout his primary, secondary, and CEGEP studies, before ultimately choosing to stay in Québec City and study civil engineering at Laval University.

While at Laval, he served as president of the civil engineering student association. It was there that he discovered his affinity for writing and commentary, preparing a weekly column in the student newspaper dealing with the issues he, as president of the association, felt were important and relevant.

Farnell is passionate about discussing (amongst other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québecois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québecois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.

He is also alarmed by what seems to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.

It is with this in mind that he contributes to LifeinQuebec.com as a valued member of our, in-house, writing team.

Categories: Arts & Culture

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.